Where There’s a Will, There’s Not Always a Way

Wills may seem straightforward to produce, but they’re much more complex than one may think. Here are some common mistakes found in DIY wills:

  1. Critical information may be omitted.You may think that you’ve included all the necessary bits, but many things can easily slip by.
  2. No contingencies.Things can change, and your will needs to account for those possibilities. For example, a car that is supposed to go to your son is totaled in a car wreck.
  3. Lack of notarizationA notary public’s stamp and signature help protect against a will contest.
  4. It’s handwritten.This is known as a “holographic will” and is generally not allowed in New Mexico.
  5. It’s not witnessed. New Mexico law requires two individuals witness the signing of the will, and then sign it themselves.
  6. An internet template has been used but it is specific to another state.
  7. Ambiguous language.Ambiguity leads to dispute amongst those who are included in the will. Just as doctors use a specific vocabulary to speak to each other, attorneys use a precise, impossible-to-misconstrue legal language. You won’t be around to clarify once your will in enacted, so it is imperative that such language is used to ensure your will is carried out in accordance with your wishes.

Hiring a professional to write your will is essential in ensuring that it is used as intended. When you enlist our help to create your will, you’re not paying for pieces of paper; you’re paying for knowledge, advice, and peace of mind.

Demystifying Depositions

Maybe you’ve heard the term being used in a courtroom drama, or maybe you’re anticipating one. Here’s what you need to know about depositions and how to be a star deponent.

What they are:

A pre-trial interview of witnesses.

What they do:

Provide everyone involved with consistent, relevant information; prevent any courtroom surprises.

Where they happen:

Not in court; they usually occur in an attorney’s office.

How long they take:

Anywhere from less than an hour to several days.

I’m about to be deposed—help!

Don’t freak out. The prospect of a deposition may seem intimidating, but the following tips will help the process go smoothly.

  1. This is not a test. There are no wrong answers so long as you are honest.
  2. Tell the truth. Even if you haven’t put your hand on a Bible, you are answering under oath; remember that there are serious consequences for lying.
  3. Keep it simple. Answer the questions as asked. There’s no need to volunteer more information than is being requested, but…
  4. Don’t be difficult. Be courteous and, more importantly, don’t argue with the attorney taking the deposition.
  5. Don’t speculate. “I don’t know” is a perfectly acceptable answer if you, indeed, do not know the answer.
  6. Let the attorney taking the deposition finish her question before you start answering and think before you speak.
  7. Provide clear, verbal answers. Depositions are typed up by a court reporter in real time. Not only do verbal answers create a clearer record, but they make the court reporter’s job much easier.

Tell the truth (seriously).

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